Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is the most common chronic illness in children, affecting 1 in 400 with evidence that its prevalence is increasing worldwide. Parents of children with T1DM are responsible for a labor-intensive and complicated daily regimen that has been described as an overwhelming experience, requiring constant vigilance. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms for parents of children with T1DM range from 21-59%; depressive symptoms from 10-74%;psychological distress from 29-33%;and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from 19-24%. Parental psychological distress has negative health implications for the parent, the overall functioning of the family, the psychological adjustment of their child with T1DM, and diabetes management. Combined with parental stress, children (as they reach adolescence) have an increasing need for autonomy in T1DM management, creating additional concerns about good metabolic control. Most health care visits are thus focused on the adolescent with diabetes, but overlook the equally important health of the parent: their overburdened caretakers. There is currently no program readily available for parents of youth with T1DM in a user-friendly, socioculturally appropriate format, which addresses psychosocial burden. Therefore, the goal of this application is to develop an internet program for parents of early adolescents with T1DM (Parents.Cope) ? to promote parental adjustment to this developmental transition, ? to decrease parental stress and distress, and ? to support appropriate parental transfer of diabetes responsibility from parent to adolescent. We propose to complete three major Aims during Phase I to establish feasibility:
Aim 1 : Develop the content outline and foundational technology components of the Parents.Cope program.
Aim 2 : Develop a prototype of Parents.Connect to demonstrate the goals of the complete program.
Aim 3 : Independently evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the Parents.Cope prototype using focus groups and interviews involving think aloud procedures.

Public Health Relevance

Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM) is a common chronic illness in children which presents difficult and often stressful management concerns for parents. As children approach adolescence, this burden increases with the desire for independence and self-management. No tool exists that addresses in a user friendly, easy to access and socio-culturally appropriate way, the psychosocial needs of parents as they move through this transition. This program targets the parents to help them at the very point where this transition i occurring.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-C (10))
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Arreaza-Rubin, Guillermo
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New England Research Institute
United States
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